If you’re pregnant or just birthed a shiny new baby, you’ve likely been sleuthing mommy blogs on what you need to buy to survive life with a newborn. SO overwhelming, amiright?!
I made the mistake of downloading a checklist from ONE magazine’s website, going down the litany of items and either buying it or adding it to my registry. Don’t be like me.
(In my defense, I did research the list, but my pregnancy was so brutal it was virtually impossible to stay alert for longer than five-minute increments without curling up into a ball. So after a while I was just like, “SCREW IT. This needs to get done… imma download this checklist.)
There were a lot of smart purchases, but some others I wish I’d held off on. With sites like Facebook Marketplace, eBay and craigslist there is no need for you to get everything new, especially because newborns are fast-growing and finicky. Save your precious moolah for your baby’s education fund or first trip to Disneyland!
1. Nursing pillows
I hear some very fortunate/mythical women don’t need nursing pillows because breastfeeding comes naturally to them and their babies. But for the rest of us, some support is nice.
When I was learning how to nurse, I was very confused with placement. My boobs always felt either too high or too low for my squirmy bugger. My arms felt weak and sore. My hands began morphing into claws. That’s when My Brest Friend came in handy. Not only does it strap to your torso without slowly descending, but there’s a freakin’ pocket for you to store moderately sized items like your lip balm!
The thing is, after about six weeks I became very sick of tying My Brest Friend around me every two hours. That’s when I finally sucked it up and learned how to feed without a pillow. Someone then gave me their old Boppy pillow which turned out to be useful too.
The point is, you’re likely not going to know which pillow will work best for you nor will you use it for the entire duration of your breastfeeding career, so buy it used. It might feel disgusting but you can always buy the covers new or just wash the damn thing!
You’re going to use your bassinet for only up to six months to a year, and your baby might hate the one you initially choose. Plus, these pricy pieces of furniture are typically quite sturdy, so take it off of another parent’s hands and take advantage of the savings!
Babies are notoriously picky about swaddles. Unless they’re just natural swaddlers, in which case I suspect they’re the ones who also latch and nurse effectively right out of the womb (see first point).
Anyway, you’re probably going to try several swaddles before finding the one your babe jives with. For this reason, you should buy it used, especially because swaddles are ridiculously expensive considering how much cloth is involved.
If you’re wondering why you can’t just buy it new then return it, of course you can! But if your baby decides to spit up on it, which s/he probably will, then you’re SOL.
4. Babywearing carriers
Wraps, ring slings, structured carriers and kangaroo shirts need to work with you AND your baby. You’d think the latter wouldn’t care, but oh, the latter does.
The first part: you. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing the carrier then you’re not going to use it and if you do, you’ll probably use it incorrectly. Second, if your baby loathes the carrier then there will be lots of flailing and rock-climbing, the rock being your chest.
There are lots of moms and dads with carriers they no longer use since their babies have outgrown them. Buy it from them (and you can also ask them about their experience with it!).
5. Baby loungers, like Boppy or DockATot
Same concept applies here. Your baby randomly might hate one (or maybe it’s not so random… perhaps it’s the equivalent of you at the mattress store, disliking one mattress and sinking into another). Your baby will also get too big for these things quickly. Save money and get it used. Another parent will be ecstatic to sell it to you!
EVERYONE has the same baby books. Don’t buy them — start some sort of swap system with your local mommy groups or buy them in bulk off Facebook.